How To Relieve Hay Fever Naturally
By Leanne Gray
We’re gradually moving from the slow, grounding energy of winter into the long-awaited blossom of spring. This change naturally invites us into our own state of renewal, a time for clearing out the weight holding us back from the potential of our best selves. This cycle of nature is something that we all need to become accustomed to, adjusting ourselves to be in sync with the changes that each season gifts us and finding that balance once again.
Although spring is often highly anticipated by those that dread the chills of winter, it can bring some downfalls for a lot of us.
It’s hard to appreciate the present of springs' beauty when you’re being held back by the hay fever and allergy
symptoms that come with it!
What does Ayurveda say about spring allergies?
In Ayurveda, spring is dominated by two energies - Kapha in the first part of Spring and Pitta in the second. The dominant qualities are moist, cool, clear and bright. These qualities can allow the types of ailments we often see at this time of year, affecting organs such as the nose, eyes, lungs and sinus area. It’s common to notice symptoms of hay fever, whether mild or severe.
The usual treatment for hay fever is often antihistamines but there is a more natural approach to treating and preventing symptoms.
According to Ayurveda, this ailment is prevalent when the Kapha and Pitta intelligences are affected by incompatible eating habits during
the winter such as eating cold, damp, moist, heavy & sticky food on a more consistent basis. These foods increase mucous in the body,
particularly during winter when the cold weather also adds to it’s accumulation. As the warmer weather approaches and the air begins
to moisten, this mucous starts to liquefy and the body needs to expel this excess mucous through the membranes around the nose and
Common symptoms of hayfever (allergic rhinitus)
During winter, our heavier diets and slower movement often results in a build up of fat and mucous. These hay fever symptoms are signs that the body is trying to expel this excess mucous from the system as we move into spring.
- Runny nose
- Itching on the nose and often the roof of your mouth
- Itchy eyes and/or conjunctivitis (Redness and swelling in the eyes)
- Bloated face
- Itchy skin
- Aching body with fever
Ayurvedic hayfever remedies for relief
The main area of concern in reducing hayfever symptoms is combating the inflammation of the sinus and getting rid of this excess mucous that has built up over winter. If you suffer from hay fever, its a good idea to keep yourself in balance and begin giving more attention to your diet and lifestyle at least a month before your symptoms would normally show. Read more for Ayurvedic techniques and herbal supplements you can use to reduce the symptoms of hayfever and work to prevent it's severity.
9 Ayurvedic techniques to reduce symptoms of hayfever
Cleanse your digestive system - a spring detox!
Your gut health is one of the most essential factors of your overall well being in Ayurveda. With a strong digestive fire, your body is expelling toxins adequately without being weighed down heavily. A healthy gut allows your body to combat anything that comes its way without having to exert unnecessary energy into the mundane task of digesting your food! A Kitchari cleanse would be a great place to start.
Try an Ayurvedic detox drink
Add the following to a glass of warm water in the morning:
- ½ tsp of freshly grated ginger
- ¼ tsp fenugreek seed powder
- ½ tsp lemon juice (vitamin C - a natural antihistamine)
- ½ tsp honey (presence of pollen aids your immune system in desensitising to other pollens)
Ayurvedic copper tongue scraper - an essential to ridding your body of toxins.
As part of an ideal Ayurvedic lifestyle routine, it’s important to scrape your tongue with a copper tongue scraper. This helps to eliminate the toxins ( amas ) that accumulate on your tongue overnight. The white coating you might notice on your tongue is a waste product from metabolic processes that take place while you sleep. If not removed, this waste will be re-absorbed, allowing toxins to accumulate in the body to the detriment of your health. Using a copper tongue scraper in particular is highly recommended as this metal is known to be cleansing and detoxifying and also does not react with the toxins.
Find our copper tongue scraper here.
Nasal drops for sinus careIncorporate a daily Nasya ( Nasal treatment ) into your routine.
- Using either cold-pressed black sesame oil or our medicated nasal drops, tilt your head back slightly and put 3 drops of lukewarm oil in each nostril.
- Sniff this in a few times in order for it to reach further up your nostril.
- Keeping your head titled back, massage your nose and eye area in a circular motion by pressing gently with two fingers on both sides your nose, moving your fingers up towards your forehead and around your eyebrow bone. Continue this circular motion 3 times.
- This regime helps to expel the excess mucous accumulated on the nasal cavities as well as in the sinus area and can also aid in stimulation of the pineal and pituitary glands.
Find our naturally medicated Nasal drops here.
Sinus clearing steam inhalation
This helps to clear congestion around the nose and eye areas, alleviating symptoms.
- Boil 2L of water and pour into a container.
- Add 10 drops of eucalyptus oil and place the container on the floor.
- Lean over the container, covering your head with a big towel or blanket and take deep, long breaths.
- This is recommended for 7 minutes, 2 nights a week while symptoms persist.
Hayfever eye relief
Place cotton pads soaked in rose water over your eyes to counter excess heat. Leave on for up to 10 minutes.
An Ayurvedic spring diet
Avoid cold, damp, moist, heavy and sticky foods such as bread, cheese, peanut butter, muffins, cakes, cold drinks, juices, smoothies, tomato sauce, fried chips, cold water, bananas, yoghurt, carbonated drinks and cold meats. This is best started 1-2 months before symptoms often show but will do a lot of good for you at this time especially!
Ayurvedic oil pulling technique
This technique and formula helps to remove excess mucous from the mouth.
Add the following to 1 TBSP of organic sesame oil:
- ¼ tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp honey
- ¼ tsp of black salt
Hold in your mouth, moving it throughout like you would with mouth wash, then spit out.
Take a relaxing walk on lush green grass, feel the cooling earth on your feet and ground yourself in this feeling. It's best to do this in the later half of spring when the warmth of the sun starts impacting the season. This will help to keep body heat from affecting the eyes, calming the nervous system and removing excess heat from your blood.
Ayurvedic health supplements for spring
For further support in reducing the symptoms of hayfever and allergies, our Ayurvedic practitioner Dr Ajit recommends the following natural health medicines:
- Sino Care (contains herbs traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine to support the respiratory system, and is a natural herbal remedy for the common cold, cough, sinus & hay fever.)
- Trikatu (A traditional trio blend of herbs & spices)
- Nasal drops (medicated)
Experienced Ayurvedic consultations
If you find that your symptoms are severe and persistent, our Ayurvedic consultant, Dr Ajit, will be able to guide you in finding the roots of your hay fever and allergies.
Book a consultation today to discover what may be holding you back from the balance you need to face life without the struggles this can bring. With many years of experience within the field of Ayurveda, Dr Ajit can support you on your journey to find relief.
For those outside of Auckland and New Zealand - there are also online consultations available.